October 15, 2009 in City

Doug Clark: Maligned Yankees fans should stick together

By The Spokesman-Review

Ah, October – the most intolerant time of the year.

If you’re a Yankees fan like me, that is. And if you are, do I have a deal for you.

But before we get to my exciting offer of free lunch and prizes, let’s first consider the following indisputable facts.

1. Once again my Yanks are in the postseason, poised to begin a battle for the American League Championship.

2. On Friday, I will don my NY ball cap and wear it proudly for support.

3. Which means I will receive a barge-load of crap wherever I go.

Such as:

“Takes a lot of guts to root for the team with the biggest payroll, huh?”

“Gonna get another checkbook championship this year?”

“Best team money can buy.”

And these (paraphrased) insults are from my son-in-law, Shane.

I forgive the lad. He’s a die-hard Mariners fan, which means October baseball is an alien concept.

At least Shane is civil. Nonfamily Yankee-haters are much, much meaner.

My point is that no other sports franchise on the planet evokes so much contempt as do the New York Yankees.

And why?

Um, let me see …

World Championships: 26. Pennants: 39. Playoff appearances: 48.

That’s right, jealousy.

Over the years I have endured the spoilsport slurs alone. But this year I have a proposition for people with pinstripe passion.

Here’s the game plan:

Call or e-mail me via the information below and convince me you are a Yankees fan.

Tell me a story. Maybe your Yankees devotion cost you a friend. Or, better yet, a marriage. Maybe you met a famous Yankee. Maybe you slept with a famous Yankee. I don’t care.

I’ll pick the one or two most entertaining fans for a free lunch (plus prizes) with yours truly one day next week. We’ll talk about the pain of being Yankees fans in a cold and cruel world.

If the weather’s clear, we may go in my newly refurbished ’67 Vista Guzzler.

Due to mechanical problems, I moored my classic cherry red station wagon in the garage about two years ago. And there it sat, gathering dust and the paw prints of an army of neighborhood cats.

Then a couple of weeks ago I dialed AAA and had my land yacht towed to a nearby shop. There it was detailed, fixed up and equipped with a spanking new carburetor about the size of an 8-slice toaster.

Like the Bronx Bombers, the Vista Guzzler is a money-gobbling force of nature.

As I’ve said before, my love for the Yanks dates to the 1961 home run duel between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. I clipped their baseball cards in the spokes of my Schwinn American and went whirring around the block.

Please. Don’t tell me what those cards would be worth in today’s collector market.

Like the gas mileage on my now-even-thirstier Vista Guzzler, there are some things in life not worth knowing.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman- Review. He can be reached at dougc@spokesman.com or (509) 459-5432.

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